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Setting the Foundation for a Successful Blog

Is your blog not living up to its full potential? Or maybe you’ve been putting off starting one out of fear you can’t keep it up? We recognize that using a blog to connect with your audience may not be the most groundbreaking suggestion, but a well-curated and relevant blog remains an extremely valuable communications tool for a few big reasons.

  1. Google ranking – When more of your website pages are listed in relevant Google search results and when other websites link to your posts, article visits increase, as does your website’s Google ranking.
  2. Inbound marketing – A blog is extremely useful for inbound marketing. While outbound marketing (like online advertising) pushes content – sometimes undesired – onto an audience, inbound marketing draws customers to you by providing them tailored content and experiences that meets their needs, concerns and interests.
  3. Expertise – By regularly sharing your expert advice and key learnings on your blog, this content can readily be shared by other organizations and relevant media outlets, making your organization and its people recognizable thought leaders in your space.

Now that you’re sold on the value of a blog, it’s time to dust off the cobwebs and invest in your blog again (or finally take the plunge to start one). You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles to create a successful blog. The most important thing is setting the right foundation, which calls for a few key steps.

Selecting a Blog/Hosting Platform

First things first, you’ll need to select a blog platform and hosting platform. Ask yourself – does the platform offer the features I need? Can the hosting platform handle the bandwidth I need? Is there a plug-in for live customer support? Depending on your business, there are a number of questions you’ll need to ask yourself to determine the right blog and hosting platforms for you. Luckily, there are unlimited options available today at a full range of price points to ensure you find the platform that works best for you.

Leverage the Experts

Chances are your team members (whether in-house or from a partner PR agency like NST) have a variety of expertise areas—take advantage! Lean into where your team excels and encourage everyone to write about what inspires them. And think beyond the assigned communications team. If your content comes from people who are truly invested in the topics they write about, that authenticity will show in the end product, thus building your brand and its authority.

Make it Interesting

… to you and your readers. If you aren’t interested in your own content, there isn’t much hope in connecting with your audience. Be authentic with your content selection and the voice and style you use in the writing, and your blog will generally be more compelling to read. Consider the needs, concerns and interests of your audience and aim to address those points through your blog content. Understanding who your audience is and what they find interesting should drive the content you share.

Keep a Schedule

But allow for some flexibility. Creating an annual editorial calendar can be extremely helpful to keep you and your team on track. A calendar will let you map out post topics, assign writers, deadlines and more, so everyone is on the same page and understands timing and expectations. We recommend working a few posts ahead to allow for some flexibility if the post you originally planned for is unavailable to publish that day.

Not sure where to start? Download our handy blog calendar template and start planning your blog schedule today.

Track Performance

After you invest time, energy and budget on your blog, you don’t want all that hard work to go to waste. To understand how your blog is performing, it’s important to monitor it through Google Analytics. Tracking various insights, like time spent on the blog, traffic source, etc., will inform content choices, timing and other factors that you can adjust accordingly to drive increased readership.

NST is here to help with your platform questions and any other blog-related needs. Give us a call today to talk about the best options for your organization to level up your blog and inbound marketing.

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